Monday, March 30, 2009

Session with Kerri Part II

Using natural available light for portraiture is a beautiful effect. The day I had a session with Kerri the sky was overcast, creating a gorgeous diffuse light. This low contrast lighting worked in our favor to produce soft lighting which eliminates unflattering shadows.

Just to set the record straight - Kerri is not a bride (yet), but she plays one for me in our TTD (trash the dress) sessions.

Because of the very comfortable rapport created prior to the shoot (and our familiarity with one another) the connection between model and photographer was amazing.

I love photographing Kerri, because she is so 'at ease' during the shoot while being directed both physically and emotionally. Her poses are very natural. You can see her beauty exposed as well as her unique individuality.

These collaborative moments are what a portrait photographer strives for.

In this Part II series, I wanted to include images that accent a softness delivered by Kerri and overall feel of femininity that transforms a woman when she steps into a wedding dress.

This prelude, is an interesting set up for the more "amusing" surroundings we find Kerri in as she continues to "Trash the Dress".

Stay tuned for my Session with Kerri Part III - (this time we do trash the dress)!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Session with Kerri

One of the joys of photography is the connection created between you and your subject.

The energy, emotion and mood is made possible through this interaction.

I have been very fortunate to encounter many wonderful personalities and exchanges with the people I photograph.
Being able to express yourself without feeling self conscious, is a quality and formula that is apparent immediately in the final product of the shoot.

The role of photographer is to put your subject at ease in front of the camera. Often, this is established well before the session itself even takes place.
Meeting with your subject and creating a comfortable rapport, as well as talking about various expectations, is an integral part of establishing this initial relationship.

Communication is key.

It is important to clearly direct your subject and have them understand what it is you want in your final image. Some things just happen naturally while others need more input from the photographer.

The results of clear communication produces a naturalness with stunning rewards!

These "rewards" can be seen here in my photo session with Kerri.

Kerri is one of my favorite subjects because she "gets it". Her beauty, ease and sensitivity are effortlessly expressed through the camera lens.

She is fun, energetic and most importantly, willing to try just about anything!

I will share some of Kerri's more adventurous photos captured during a recent Trash the Dress session in an upcoming post. They are quite fun and exceptionally beautiful. Don't miss it!

Thank You Kerri!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Spring! It finally arrived on Friday! Isn't it wonderful? Unfortunately, it may take a few weeks to really feel and see the significant changes. But at least it's a start, and we can officially say "It's Spring!"

I have decided to focus today's imagery on a very symbolic object that represents the season.
Spring flowers - more specifically - A Tulip.
Yes, just one.

This collection includes the representation of a single tulip.
Each photograph gives this single beauty it's own interesting perspective.
In one sitting, I was able to use this simple form and create "floral portraits" that depict a uniqueness within each image.

Conversion to Black and White.

Textural Overlay

Color Saturation

Sepia toned.

You don’t have to look far to see signs of spring. The budding trees, longer days, signs of sprouting bulbs and symptoms of Spring Fever infecting many of those around us!

Beauty can be found everywhere.
Single it out, focus, get close, and look - really look at the artistry that abounds!
Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cimetiere du Montparnesse

Another of my ongoing photo studies includes the beauty, mystic, and strong sculptural statements found in the eternal memorials of cemeteries.

The Cimetiere du Montparnesse, in Paris, is the permanent home of many of France's poets, artists, musicians, philosophers, mathematicians, historians, and other intellectual as well as artistic elite.

Acres and acres of interesting and thought provoking tombs, statues and head stones captivate the visitor.

My interest in cemeteries goes beyond the concept of death - but about the myth and symbols contained in these environments.

Cemeteries are about exploring the historical role in man's struggle with mortality, immortality, salvation, death, and transcendence.
Many of the commissioned stones created to memorialize, fascinate and captivate enchant the visitor and make strong statements about those they honor.

A cemetery is a history of people - a perpetual record of yesterday and a sanctuary of peace and quiet today. A cemetery exists because every life is worth loving and remembering - always.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Children of Ecuador

A few years ago, my travels took me often to the city of Quito.

Quito is the capital city of Ecuador in northwestern South America. It is nestled in a long narrow valley in the Andes. You are surrounded by spectacular views at an elevation of around 10,000 feet.

Besides the natural beauty, unique culture and indigenous crafts available, what I loved most about Quito is the people. Humble, incredibly hospitable and kind.

I'm including these images in my latest blog because I love the story behind them.

During my layovers in Ecuador, I would often frequent the street market for sweaters, scarves or various artistry. I was also absorbed in the people and life I encountered on my walks. The artisans would set up along the sidewalks or in permanent stalls to form a "market". Women would often sit while watching their "store" as well as their children. Many of the children would play in the street, offer to shine your shoes, or sell you candy or gum. Beautiful children.

Before one of my visits, I contacted several neighbors and asked for toys their families may have outgrown or abandoned. The response was quite generous!

My visit to the street market this time also included passing out toys to the children I met with. My only requirement was that they had to allow a photograph with their toy.

It was a fun day for me, as well as the children. I will always remember the surprise and slight confusion associated with these gifts. Then watching them go off and interact with their new treasure.

I think of my visits to Ecuador often and fondly. I hope to make it back there someday and experience the simple kindness and life of the Ecuadorian people.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Trash the Dress - In the Snow (Part II)

Photographing in the winter can present many challenges.
I mentioned one of the biggest challenges in my previous blog post - the harsh conditions involving cold and bitter wind.

There is also the challenge of shooting a white object - SNOW!
Many times the result can be a grayish hue making the snow look dirty. Other times the brilliance and brightness of the snow yield an over-exposed image with no detail or texture in the landscape.
But I would like to talk about the rewards associated with working in the snow. For one, you have a fairly "monochromatic" palette before you!

Monochrome photography is usually assumed to be about black and white. Monochrome simply means "of one color".
The winter landscape usually presents itself as monochromatic. The colors tend to be of a very neutral nature.
So what better scenario is there that allows the 'artist' or photographer the ability to project a splash of color.
Doing this by selectively adding simple objects of brilliant pigmentation. The impact instills importance and emphasis on the selective color as well as the shapes that frame the image.

Adding depth and intensity to an image by incorporating just a "splash of color" (against the starkness of a winter backdrop) can deliver drama and strength back into your story.
The results are simplistic, yet strong.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Trash the Dress - In the Snow!

The concept of "trash - the - dress" is about having a fun photo session in your wedding dress (prom dress, or any dressed up attire), in locations that are in complete contrast to your formal dress.

Many of these shoots do not necessarily "trash the dress", as in my latest shoot in the snow.

I've been looking forward to a good snow storm so I could have this opportunity - but I wasn't counting on the bitter cold that came with it!

Waking up the day of the shoot, it was single digits outside. I prepared myself for a very frigid experience. (I hope my model was prepared and still willing.)

My ideal location was now inaccessible by car because of the snow.

In order to get there we would have to walk 10 minutes and be without shelter during the session. I felt we needed to be somewhere that allowed us a place to warm up in between takes.
My model did prepare herself with "long johns", heavy socks, and Uggs. It was her upper body and arms that would be exposed to the 20 degree temps. and bitter wind chill.

I was bundled up (sans gloves), so I could easily work the camera controls.

Each session latest approximately 15 - 20 minutes. I didn't want my model transforming into a human block of ice mid shot! Before this occurred, we took frequent breaks to go inside and warm up. (I also needed to take care of my camera and lenses being exposed to these extreme temperatures).

So with the scene set and the conditions so accurately described, can you sense any discomfort in my "bride"? I must say, what makes a great model is masking any outside factors that might adversely effect the shoot. Staying in character, having fun, and enjoying yourself in front of the camera. I couldn't have asked for a better collaborator!

Have you ever thought about spending another day in your wedding dress, or even your prom dress? Letting your guard down and totally enjoying a fun carefree unique session? The possibilities are endless.
Trash the dress in the snow?......................Why Not?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Details of Character

Many of my "equine" friends and acquaintances are distinctly know by their unique characteristics. These features can be recognizable in physical or personality traits.
To demonstrate this, I have put together a photography project that focuses on the details that set each horse apart from the others.

These attributes can only be identified by their close
"human" companions - obvious to some but others are more subtle.

Whether it's a distinct palomino blond.
Or the liquid eye of our compassionate sidekick

The spotted butt of our Appaloosa cross

The annoying vice of chewing expensive leather reins!

Or, the habit of displaying their tongue - much to the chagrin of their owner!

Uniqueness is what endears us to one another. We embrace our differences and love these traits. It's these distinctions that set us apart and make us who we are. Why not focus on these wonderful traits and celebrate our individuality!


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